Weekend warriors – The Sum of February 2017

It seems like, as long as this winter has been, it is now just flying by. February always kind of sneaks up on us… like oh here I am and BOOM hahaha now I’m already gone. It wont be long and we’ll be focusing all our energy on things that need to be done for outside…getting chicks, starting seedlings, cruising plant nurseries for good deals.

But that’s still a good month or so away, so for now, I’ll update you on our big kitchen/chicken hospital renovation, which, is actually at a multi-level type of disappointing standstill at this moment…

When we last left you, we were uncovering some serious issues.

Thankfully, we aren’t really the type of people to give up easily… With all the walls torn out and the water damage fairly visible, we were happy for our local handyman to tell us, all the work was not for naught..

So, it was time to rip into the floor. We were excited/nervous, because we didn’t know what we were going to find.. .more insect activity? More mold? Just a bunch of rot? D.B. Cooper? A swamp?  Well we were pretty sure we weren’t going to find a swamp, but it never hurts to expect the unexpected.

MrGillis spent a fair amount of time just ripping down the rest of the walls, cleaning out old insulation, mice/bug nests and trucking it all out. After that, came the Next Big Step in our plan. Removing the floor so we can get rid of all the water damage, level it out, replace and rotten and missing floor  joists and redo the interior of the kitchen well enough to last a good 20 years…


My dear hubby did most of this, unless he couldn’t get all the screws out. Then I came to the rescue, with my super helper skills…essentially, I would hold the floor board up, putting stress on where it was giving us trouble, while he figured out where to attack from…  with some help from the circular saw, we got the floor out.

That took basically that entire first weekend of February… it sure didn’t feel like we got a whole lot done, but really, we know, we are getting there…

The second weekend of February, was another weekend of mrgillis working mostly by himself… while izzy was napping, I rushed out and hauled dirt out in 2, two gallon buckets while he shoveled it. It was a bit of a crazy hour and a half, but we got a lot done and I am eternally grateful that we have a baby monitor that we can count on to work with us while we’re working outside and she’s napping away in her extremely, toddler proofed room.


We managed to fill that sucker twice before we called it a job well done.

That’s right, we took out over two tons of dirt, wood, bark, insulation, and some weird animal skeleton that was wrapped in plastic(I know, right? It’s got us too.), 4 gallons at a time. It was, well, an experience. We were both pretty sore the next day, and I only put in 1/5 of the time mrgillis did. He insists that my time was invaluable tho, as we really got some dirt out when working together….

So, that pretty much took the sum of the second weekend of February.

Immediately following that, like literally sunday night into monday, we got hit with a huge state wide blizzard that shut down all of Maine basically. We spent the entire week cleaning up from that, over and over again because snow drifts. Seriously. I was shoveling the chicken and shed paths 3 TIMES A DAY. And not little 5 minute clean up jobs. I would go out to thigh deep snow in the AM, get it out of the way, and by lunch be shoveling knee deep snow again.

Also, we got our new kitchen sink setup installed! But that led to another not so great discovery

The third weekend, well, mrgillis and I dropped the little one off at my parents and absconded to the queen city for an overnight stay at a motel.

One, because we got it for free, two because a quality nights sleep was the perfect  belated valentines gift for the both of us, as parents to a 21 month old and three, CLEARANCE sales..and chinese food we didn’t have to cook ourselves.


Kmart in Bangor is closing and tractor supply club was having an additional 20% of all clearance deal.. so we hit kmart and spent all kinds of the green stuff on birthday and christmas presents for this coming year and we stopped at 3 different tractor supplies over the course of the two days and got so many goodies for the garden for super cheap…. we found everything from earth worm castings, to a drip irrigation system, to 3’x8′ aluminum screening for making windows (that was 70 CENTS a roll people!) two machetes and a saw for bushwhacking our way around the back property on super super clearance. I also managed to grab some cute wrapping paper and a new sign for my kitchen. We also looked at some sheds to convert to coops, because we don’t know how much time we have to build from scratch…

And that brings us to now, the last official week of the month. We still have no kitchen or chicken hospital. Maple tapping season is Literally on top of us, and we have no where to boil it down.

We’ve taken stock of our maple syrup and are ok with the fact that we wont be making more this year… we also decided that if needed, we can house the chicks in the house for a few days, because we do know we HAVE to get chickens this year… spring is springing and we are only getting a few eggs.

BUT the good news is, Charlie the handy guy came around this last week and told the hubby that after we clear out under two particular spots and take out the bathroom floor we can start jacking it on saturday! Progress!

Anyway, we have about a bazillion things to do, and I have like a thousand blog ideas, even some already in draft from, so I guess, time to call it.

Until next time, have a wicked good day.




Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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